News and Press Releases

OKEECHOBEE MAN INDICTED FOR WIRE FRAUD, CREDIT CARD FRAUD AND AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2010

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced today’s indictment of defendant Ihap Abdallah “Tommy” Yamin, 31, of Okeechobee, Florida, on federal conspiracy and wire fraud charges, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1343 and 1349, credit card fraud charges, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1029, and aggravated identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1). Yamin is scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in Fort Pierce on Friday, December 17, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank J. Lynch, Jr.. If convicted of these charges, Yamin faces a possible maximum statutory sentence of thirty years in prison.

According to in-court statements, Yamin worked at Azteca, a general convenience store in Okeechobee, Florida, where he often completed sales to customers using credit and debit cards. Yamin would allegedly swipe a customer’s card once to complete the transaction, and then swipe it a second time in another card reader to capture the account numbers and personal identification information of the customer. Yamin then used the stolen information to re-code gift cards and other credit cards with magnetic strips to create counterfeit credit/debit cards. Thereafter, Yamin sold both counterfeit cards and the personal account and identification information to a witness cooperating with the FBI. Yamin told the cooperating witness he would also sell these items to other buyers across the United States and overseas.

According to in-court statements, Yamin also fabricated and sold false identification documents, such as federal permanent Alien Resident Cards, known as green cards, and state Driver Licenses. Yamin told the cooperating witness that he was assisted in his false identification document business by Israel Angeles-Guzman, a Mexican national. Angeles-Guzman was detained and removed from the United States in July 2010. Angeles-Guzman, 28, is charged in the conspiracy count of today’s indictment.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. He also thanked the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Secret Service, and the ICE Homeland Security Investigations in Fort Pierce for their assistance in this investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore Cooperstein.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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